This may reflect a biological urge with the brain influencing how receptive we are to those who play hard to get. This fixation also applies to dating where we’re more likely to be drawn to someone who appears unavailable.Since it’s in our nature to be competitive, this obsession manifests as a conquest we must hunt to get.Evolutionary theorists have often focused on competition when it comes to mate selection.
However, Robert Weiss, Senior Vice President of National Clinical Development for Elements Behavioral Health, believes this is used by women who want to eliminate the “players” from men who are worthy of a relationship.“Men will typically play mind games when they are trying to get sex; women will typically play mind games when they are trying to get a more serious relationship,” he told .
Playing hard to get is a mind game to test the strengths and weaknesses of partners.
However, if we are uncertain of our love interest, and they only seem a little invested, a more direct and engaging approach should be applied.
Mind games have a variable rate of success, according to Bais.“[I]n life as in relationships, there is no one size fits all,” she said.
The brain’s reward system is stimulated, and feel-good hormones, such as dopamine, are activated due to the thrill of the chase, according to Bais.“It's a temporary high.
You have to keep playing the game (harder and harder) to mimic the high,” she said.
Some men and women fail at playing hard to get because they overestimate how much the other person is interested, according to Gilliard.
A 2014 study in the echoes Gilliard’s belief: if a partner is already interested and likes you, posing a challenge can boost their desire.
In a dating context, the brain experiences a similar sensation from the uncertainty of whether someone likes us or not.